Our Veterinary Team

LeadER Animal Specialty Hospital in Cooper City has been providing exceptional, specialized veterinary care since 1994. LeadER is made up of fourteen doctors of veterinary medicine, including eight board-certified specialists in the areas of cardiology, surgery, oncology, anesthesia, emergency/critical care and internal medicine.   

                       

Our staff consists of the most experienced and dedicated veterinary nurses, assistants and client service representatives available. LeadER's critical care and specialty nurses are second to none in their compassion and dedication.  Our veterinary assistants perform a myriad of duties and assist the nurses and veterinarians with treatments. They, along with the nurses are the caregivers, walking, feeding, talking to, and playing with the hospitalized animals.  LeadER's friendly client service representatives will walk you through the process of admitting your pet, and will make every effort to answer your questions, while putting your mind at ease.

Our Board Certified Specialists

Jason E. Horgan, DVM, DACVS, DACVECC, Medical Director

Diplomate, ACVS (Surgery), Diplomate, ACVECC (Emergency & Critical Care Services)

Read More
Karen Marin, DVM

Practice Limited to Surgery

Read More
Nick A. Schroeder, DVM, DACVIM

Diplomate, ACVIM (Cardiology)

Read More
Seth Ghantous, DVM, DACVIM

Diplomate, ACVIM (Internal Medicine)

Read More
Armando Villamil, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

Diplomate, ACVIM (Oncology)

Read More
LeeAnn Ablin, DVM

Diplomate, ACVS (Surgery), CCRP, Certified Veterinary Acupuncture

Read More
Marco Ruffato, DVM, DACVAA, cVMA

Diplomate, ACVAA (Anesthesiology)

Read More
Stavros Pavlides, BVetMed

Diplomate, DACVECC (Critical Care)

Read More
 

Our Emergency & Critical Care Team

Led by Jason E. Horgan, DVM, DACVECC (Emergency & Critical Care), DACVS (Surgery), Medical Director

Jacklyn Johns, DVM
Practice Limited to Emergency & Critical Care Medicine

Dr. Jacklyn Johns was born and raised in South Florida. She worked as a veterinary technician while attending Florida Atlantic University, where she graduated with her Bachelors of Science in Biology. Dr. Johns obtained her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from St. Matthew's University. Her clinical training was at the University of Pennsylvania. She held various leadership positions in organizations, including the Student Chapter of the American Animal Hospital Association, Student Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society, and American Veterinary Medical Association. Additionally, she obtained the Dean's Award and Pfizer Small Animal Medicine Senior Excellence Award. Dr. Johns completed an internship at the prestigious Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. Since that time, she has been working as an emergency clinician. Her primary interests include emergency medicine, critical care and surgery. When Dr. Johns is not practicing veterinary medicine, she loves spending time with her family and traveling.

Clay Phillips, DVM
Practice Limited to Emergency & Critical Care Medicine

 

Originally from Georgia, Dr. Phillips attended the University of Georgia for an undergraduate Biology Degree and then on to a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. He worked in the Atlanta area doing emergency medicine for over 6 years. Dr. Phillips interests include Emergency Medicine, Advanced Imaging ,Blood Transfusion Medicine, and Snake bite cases. He moved to South Florida in 2018 with his wife, daughter 2 dogs and 2 cats.



 

Kate Spahn, DVM, ER Service Chief
Practice Limited to Emergency & Critical Care Medicine

Dr. Spahn was born and raised in Central Florida. Prior to attending veterinary school at the University of Florida, she was a certified veterinary technician for 4 years and then majored in biology at the University of Central Florida. During veterinary school, she developed a strong interest in ophthalmology, as well as critical care cases. She completed a one year small animal medicine and surgery internship in San Antonio, TX, followed by a one year internship at an ophthalmology specialty practice in Miami, FL. Dr. Spahn decided to remain in Florida to pursue a career in emergency and critical care and to stay close to her family and loved ones.

Dr. Spahn is a true adventurer, enjoying all outdoor activities, including scuba diving, kayaking, white water rafting, skydiving, and motocross. From climbing Machu Picchu in Peru to mountain biking the Death Road in Bolivia to up-close encounters with grizzlies in Alaska, she is always up for a challenge both in her personal adventures and professionally. When it is time to relax at home, Dr. Spahn looks forward to coming home to her 8-yr-old black lab, Cordi, to cuddle and play fetch.

Elizabeth Rosainz, DVM
Practice Limited to Emergency & Critical Care Medicine

Dr. Rosainz obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree at Florida International University in May 2005.  Later that year, after her own dog was injured following Hurricane Wilma, she renewed her childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian.  She completed course work in biology for two years at FIU and began veterinary school at St. George’s University in Grenada in 2008.  After one year studying in the Caribbean she transferred to Oklahoma State University and received her DVM degree in May 2012.

Dr. Rosainz completed a 13 month internship at Hollywood Animal Hospital in small animal medicine, general practice, surgery and emergency medicine.  Her main areas of interest include small animal medicine, ophthalmology, soft tissue surgery, and emergency medicine.

 

Rachel Groveman, DVM - General Practice

Dr. Rachel Groveman is 2005 graduate of University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. She has been practicing in Broward county ever since. Born in New York City, her passion for animals started as a young child rescuing stray cats off the city streets and turned into a fulfilling career as a veterinarian. Her special interests include internal medicine, feline medicine, dentistry and dermatology. Dr. Groveman has two cats, Sierra and Mr. Mistoffelees, who run her household. When she is not working, Dr. Groveman enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast, enjoying hiking, kayaking and traveling.

Allison Pollak, DVM, General Practice

Deanna
Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT), Medical Lab Technician (MLT)

Deanna originates from a small town outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her family moved to Ohio where she attended the Columbus State Community College Veterinary Technology program (which was conducted with the Ohio State Veterinary School) in 1988-1989. She moved down to Florida in 1990 and has been working as a CVT since. In 2000, she furthered her education in laboratory medicine, graduating in 2000 with her MLT license. .She has been at Leader Animal specialty since 2010, where she oversees the laboratory and works to fill in for the general practice and emergency services. Deanna has a sincere understanding of our feline friends –she has 7 indoor and spoiled kitties of her own, but also works as our Radioiodine Nurse where she takes care of our I131 patients. On her off time, she enjoys riding motorcycles and spending time at home with her boyfriend and their family.

Jessica
Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT), Technician Supervisor

 

Jessica was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Go Pens!) and has always loved animals and the bond that a person can create with an animal. That bond led Jessica to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. Her under graduate studies were done at University of Pennsylvania, and shortly after graduated from the Veterinary Technician Institute of PA. Jessica has over 10 years of Emergency, Critical Care, and Specialty Medicine experience which included a rotating internship at AVETS and ECC Veterinary Technician Specialty ECC training program in Pittsburgh. Jessica's plan to continue this journey with the FVMA. She spent time teaching at the Veterinary Technician Institute of PA, where surgical nursing, anesthesia and medical math were her favorite subjects to teach. She spends time with a stubborn French bulldog named Max, and has been a foster parent for children in south Florida. She likes cooking, the beach, and the south Florida rain!

 

Melissa, Lead Technician
Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT)

Melissa is originally from Queens, New York.  She received her AAS in Veterinary Science Technology from SUNY Farmindale in 1992 and is a Licensed Veterinary Technician.  She has been working at LeadER Animal Specialty Hospital since she moved to Florida in 1995.  For the first six years, she rotated through the general and specialty practice and was also ICU supervisor.  In 2001 she started working in the ER/Critical Care Department.  Melissa attends continuing education courses to keep current on the newest trends in veterinary medicine and is also a member of NAVTA (National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America) and FVTA (Florida Veterinary Technician Association).  When she is not busy in the ER/ICU, Melissa is busy at home with two kids, 5 dogs, and a bearded dragon.

Adriana
Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT)

Adriana joined the LeadER team in 2018. 

Airyel
Assistant

Airyel joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Alexandria
Tech Assistant

Alexandria joined the LeadER team in 2019. 

Amanda (Employee of the Month - March 2021)
Technician

Amanda joined the LeadER team in 2020.

Amber
Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT)

Amber returned to LeadER in 2021.  Amber was born and raisers in Newport Beach California . She moved to Ormond beach Florida with her family in 2005. Amber has always been passionate about animals . Her mother is a veterinarian and she has been very fortunate to have learned so much from her as well as handling and caring for exotic animals . Amber is a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT)  and graduated from Penn Foster . She also pursed business and administration at UCF . Amber's goals and dreams for the future are to learn and retain as much knowledge as she can in the veterinary field so she can better care for our patients . She hopes to one day manage her mothers hospital.

Anna
ECC Assistant

Anna joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Asha
Technician

Asha joined the LeadER team in 2019. 

Brant
Technician

Brant joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Brittany
Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT)

Brittany joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Bryanna
Technician

Bryanna joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Chinee
Technician

 Chinee joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Deanna
Technician

Deanna joined the LeadER team in 2019. 

Destiny
Technician

Destiny joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Diane
Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT)

Diane joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

DIego
Technician

Diego joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Dylan
Technician

Dylan joined the LeadER team in 2019. 

Eileen
Technician

Eileen joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Eliana
Technician

Eliana rejoined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Elizabeth
Lead Technician

Elizabeth joined our team in 2017. 

Eneida
Assistant

Eneida has been part of our team since 1993.  She assists our doctors and technicians in caring for their patients.  Cleaning, keeping our ICU well stocked, holding patients for exams, x-rays, blood work and procedures, walking the dogs and giving love to every patient are just some of her responsibilities.  At home, Eneida has two sons, birds, dogs, cats, reptiles and takes care of the neighborhood ducks.

Gabriela
Technician

Gabriela joined the LeadER team in 2021.

Hailey
Assistant

Hailey joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Jasmine
Technician

Jasmine joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Jasnaid
Assistant

Jasnaid joined the LeadER team in 2018. 

Jazmine
Assistant

Jazmine joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Jill
Discharge Nurse

Jill joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Justin (Employee of the Month - April 2021)
ECC Technician

Justin joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Karisma
Technician

Karisma joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Katlyn
Assistant

Katlyn joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Kerensa
Technician

Kerensa joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Kim
Certified Veterinary Technician, CVT

Kimberly joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Leo
Technician

Leo joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Luis
ECC Assistant

Luis joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Merelyn
Assistant

Merelyn joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Michelle
Assistant

Michelle joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Miriam (Employee of the Month - May 2021)
Assistant

Miriam joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Natalia
Assistant

Natalia joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Natalie
Technician

Natalie joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Nicolette
Assistant

Nicolette joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Robert (Employee of the Month - August 2021)
Assistant

Robert joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Sergio
Assistant

Sergio joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Tatiana (Employee of the Month - February 2021)
Technician

Tatiana joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Thaisa
Technician

Thaisa joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Tyler
Technician

Ulysses
Assistant

Ulysses joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Valerie
Assistant

Valerie joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Vivienne
Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT)

Vivienne joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Zoie
Technician

Zoie joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Our Cardiology Team

Led by Nick A. Schroeder, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)

Beatriz
Cardiology Coordinator

Beatriz joined the LeadER team in 2018. 

Diana
Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT)

Diana was born in Colombia, moved to Florida in 1994.  She became a CVT (Certified Veterinary Technician) from Penn Foster college in 2012 and has been at LeadER Animal Specialty Hospital since 2004 in the cardiology department.  Her favorite interests are assisting Dr. Schroeder during invasive cardiology procedures such as pacemaker implantation and thoracotomy for patent ductus arteriosus ligation and subtotal pericardectomy.  She loves making her clients and patients feel warm and welcomed as if they were her own family.

Edgar (Employee of the Month - January 2021)
Veterinary Technician

Edgar was born in Florida and has been working in LeadER Animal Specialty Hospital's ICU and emergency services since 2010.  He joined the Cardiology Department in December 2014 and has enjoyed every educational moment of it. 

Our Surgery Team

Led by Jason E. Horgan, DVM, DACVS (Surgery), DACVECC (Emergency & Critical Care), Medical Director

Brigita Ziogaite, DVM, Surgery Resident
Practice Limited to Surgery

Dr. Ziogaite has been at a private practice since 2013. She was born in Lithuania and moved to the United States at the age of 21 without any knowledge of the English language but not without determination of becoming a veterinarian. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in biology with Magna Cum Laude from Adelphi University in New York. She then continued to pursue her dreams at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and completed her clinical year at University of Minnesota. She has a cat, Plikis and an umbrella cockatoo named Jerry Boca. Besides her passion caring for pets, Dr. Ziogaite enjoys gardening.

Liz
Surgery Technician Supervisor

 

Liz's original career path did not involve working with animals, she graduated from FIU with a bachelor's degree in Psychology. It was at 25 that Liz changed her career path. She began to volunteer at local shelters and decided that working with animals. With on the job training Liz quickly became a well versed technician, she has experience with emergency/ critical care but her passion lies within surgery. Liz currently is working on her certification but has been in the field for over 5 years. On her days off she enjoys kayaking, going to the beach, working out and spending time with family. Liz has three dogs, two pit bulls named Bella and Maya, and a beagle named Pebbles.

 

Monica Salazar, DVM, Surgery Intern
Practice Limited to Surgery

Dr. Salazar joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Misti
Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT)

Misti Reyes, CVT graduated with honors from the Veterinary Technician program at Yakima Valley Community College in 2007. She worked at a busy general practice in the Tri-Cities, Washington for 5 years prior to moving to Florida. She joined the LeadER Surgery department in 2012. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband and their 2 cats.


Chelsea
Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT)

Chelsea joined the LeadER team in 2019. 

Daliana
Surgery Assistant

Daliana joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Erika
Technician

Erika joined the LeadER team in 2016. 

Faith
Assistant

Faith joined the LeadER team in 2019. 

Kellie (Employee of the Month - July 2021)
Assistant

Kellie started working at LeadER back in 2006.  It was always a dream of hers to work with animals.  She is married with 7 children and 12 grandchildren.  Kellie has 2 dogs, loves hockey, baseball and doing arts and crafts. 

Sharita
Technician

Sharita joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Stephanie
Assistant

Stephanie joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Our Internal Medicine Team

Lead by Seth Ghantous, DVM, DACVIM (Internal Medicine)

Adriana
Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT)

Adriana joined the LeadER team in 2018. 

Eileen
Technician

Eileen joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Kerensa
Technician

Kerensa joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Our Oncology Team

Led by Armando Villamil, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

Our Support Team

Darryl
Practice Manager

Darryl grew up in the Midwest graduating in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science in Business and Economics. Upon graduating from college, Darryl started his career in Washington, D.C. managing a Congressional Office for a U.S. Congressman and later went on to manage and produce 2 Emmy award winning television shows (The McLaughlin Group & McLaughlin One on One) with the late John McLaughlin. Darryl also was the Director of the International Summit of Young Technology Leaders, an educational organization that brought technology leaders and high achieving high school students together.  In 2002, Darryl moved to south Florida to begin his career consulting and managing several large veterinary practices and directing 2 non-profit animal aide groups.  Darryl joined the LeadER team in February of 2016.

Darryl is married and has 4 small dogs(Little Ricky, Lucy, Ethel & Wilfred).

Heather
Practice Manager, Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT)


Heather Midcap LVT has worked in the veterinary field for over 20 years, gaining experience in all areas of a veterinary practice. Aside from her many years of ER/ICU experience, Heather ran her hospitals Internal Medicine department for 3 years until she was promoted to Practice manager in 2010. Heather decided to join the Heska Corporation in 2011 where she provided training on diagnostic lab equipment and products to veterinary hospitals across the south east. During her time at Heska she also worked as the weekend Practice Manager at an Animal Emergency and Specialty Hospital on the west coast of Florida. Heather has also served as a consultant for local veterinarians requesting her advice pertaining to technical matters. We are proud to now call her our Practice Manager. She passionately believes in our mission to provide the highest quality of patient care in a compassionate environment that provides exceptional client service and education. Heather is married to her husband John and together they have 2 children Summer (19) and Taylor (16), they have 3 dogs, (Bruiser, Maui and Apollo) and 2 cats (Versaci and Yeezy).

Renee
Assistant Practice Manager/Client Liaison

Renee was born and raised in Denver Colorado. She moved to south Florida in 1982 and began a 23 year career in real estate. Renee always had a special love and compassion for animals and always wanted to work in the veterinary field.

In 2007 Renee decided it was finally time to do something she had always loved and took a veterinary assistant course. Upon completing the course she began her career with LeadER Animal Specialty Hospital. Renee spent her first year working in our laboratory department and soon realized with her excellent customer service skills and her love and compassion for animals she wanted to join our client service team as one of our receptionists. In 2013 Renee also began working on our social media Facebook page. In 2016, after over 8 years working with LeadER Renee is now our Assistant Practice Manager/Client Liason and Social Media Manager.

In her spare time there is nothing more Renee would rather be doing than spending time with her family, which includes four, four legged children, Maximus, Sophia, Bunny and Angel.

Bobbi
Front Desk Supervisor

Bobbi is originally from Durban, South Africa. She graduated from the University of Natal, Durban with a Bachelor of Social Science and majors in Industrial Labor Studies and Sociology. Bobbi has travelled the USA and internationally and has enjoyed many multicultural experiences. She loves being a wife and mom to two children, two dogs and four cats. With a passion for animals Bobbi started in the veterinary field here at LeadER Animal Specialty Hospital in 2006. She loves helping clients and ensuring all patients well-being.

Amanda
Client Service Representative

Amanda joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Amber
Client Service Representative

Amber joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Arline
Client Liaison Assistant

Arline joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Ashley
Client Service Representative

Ashley joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Barbara
Client Service Representative

Barbara joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Beatriz
Cardiology Coordinator

Beatriz joined the LeadER team in 2018. 

Belgies
Client Service Representative

Belgies joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Brianna
Client Service Representative

Brianna joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Chelsea
Client Service Representative

Chelsea joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Christina
Client Service Representative

Christina joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Gabriella
Client Service Representative

Gabriella joined the leadER team in 2020. 

Guy
Maintenance

Jennifer
Billing and Inventory Specialist

Jennifer joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Jessica
Client Service Representative

Jessica joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Jill
Client Service Representative

Kaia
Client Service Representative

Kaia joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Mallory
Client Service Representative

Mallory joined the LeadER Team in 2020. 

Marissa
Client Service Representative

Marissa joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Mone
Client Service Representative

Mone joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Raeana
Client Service Representative

Raeana joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Randi (Employee of the Month - June 2021)
Client Service Representative

Randi joined the LeadER team in 2018. 

Savannah
Client Service Representative

Savannah joined our team in 2016. 

Scharon
Client Service Representative

Scharon joined the LeadER team in 2021. 

Stephanie
Inventory & Billing Specialist

Stephanie was born and raised in South Florida. Upon receiving her first Bachelor’s degree in accounting she was bitten by the medical bug and opted to change her course of study. She moved away from South Florida and obtained her second Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry with a minor and Criminal Justice. She is currently working on her M.D/Ph.d and lives with her husband and two fur babies in Hollywood.

Tammi
Bookkeeper